Saturday, 19 May 2012

Apartment 143 AKA Emergo (2011)

A team of parapsychologists move into an apartment that contains a distraught man and his son and daughter and try to figure out just what's going on. Are supernatural events happening or is there a more logical explanation? And, supernatural or not, just what is the reason for it all?

Apartment 143 (also known as Emergo) is, as you may have guessed, another entry in the "found footage" subgenre and like so many that have come before it things aren't 100% successful although there are one or two excellent, but very easy, scares in the first half. Sadly, everything starts to fray and then come apart in the second half.

Written by Rodrigo Cortes and directed by Carles Torrens, it's clear that this is a movie that wants to be taken seriously. Light on humour, it starts to build up tension from almost the first few scenes. This is great, and I was rubbing my hands with glee as the situation grew more and more intense for our investigative team, but in this attempt to be taken seriously the filmmakers make the mistake of deciding that everything should be explained in due course, which leads to all momentum grinding to a halt about 15-20 minutes before the grand finale as someone relates a complete backstory that really could have been teased out throughout the preceding 60+ minutes.

The acting from all concerned is okay, I guess, with the best turns coming from Kai Lennox as a concerned father, Gia Mantegna as a resentful daughter and Fiona Glascott as Helen, the only female of the investigative team and the person who gets the most shaken up by things.

The execution of the material is fine, it's the script that's the biggest problem here. It's just too clunky and mis-shapen in places when it should be streamlined and lining up scare after scare. It's not the worst ever filmed for the horror genre, of course (there are far too many contenders for that position), but it's bad enough to damage the film and drag it down from a solid outing to something that warrants an average rating.


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